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Counter service is going the way of the Dodo

Mark Sullivan | April 5, 2013
Businesses are beginning to use mobile devices and apps to remove the large piece of furniture between service reps and customers.

I expect that Verizon will, someday, develop the backend systems and apps that will let a store rep sell a phone, provision service, transfer numbers, and sign customers up for service contracts all via a tablet PC.

This, however, is often a slow and expensive process for large companies. The developers that build the front-end mobile apps needed to access the back-end systems are not cheap, they do not always stick to their original price quote, and they dont always deliver a working solution on time.

Small businesses may get off a little easier by hiring a single developer to build such an app, or perhaps access an off-the-shelf app.

Great expectations

I'm convinced that companies will spend the time and money needed to get rid of the counter. Because if Verizon doesnt evolve its customer service methods away from the not-very-effective norms of the last century, then AT&T or Sprint or T-Mobile will.

Or, people might begin experiencing what I did a couple days ago. I went to the Apple Store and had a good (counter-less) experience, then found myself hoping for a similar experience down the street at the Verizon store. As counter-less service becomes more common, that hope may become an expectation that I carry with me to the hardware store, the grocery store and the car rental place, too.


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